Sip your way through this North Carolina town’s Hot Cocoa Tour


Hot chocolate lovers can find what they are looking for when exploring a coastal city in North Carolina this holiday season.

Until January 2, 2022, Elizabeth City is the location of the first-ever Hot Cocoa Crawl, with participating businesses selling their recipes for this hot, chocolatey concoction. The Hot Cocoa Crawl coincides with annual events in Elizabeth City such as its Public Tree Lighting Ceremony.

“This year, we wanted to reinforce that magical feeling with a seasonal event that locals and visitors could enjoy with their loved ones and that our amazing local businesses could benefit from,” said Corrina Ruffieux, General Manager of Visit Elizabeth City. “A hot cup of homemade hot chocolate is one of winter’s most delicious treats, and creating original recipes was a fun and creative way to engage restaurants, cafes, breweries and bars.”

Thirteen companies are involved in the Hot Cocoa Crawl. They and their cocoas include:

A house cocoa par excellence with a perfectly toasted marshmallow, Paradiso Roma Ristorante’s No more sled has a little bourbon to rock the holidays.

At the Mills Downtown Bistro, The dirty snowman is a trendy luxury hot chocolate. Made with vanilla ice cream, hot chocolate and adult Bailey’s, this cheeky-named drink is chock-full of whipped cream and chocolate shavings for this Instagram-worthy pic.

· For Mexican hot chocolate with a kick, look no further than Big Boss Burritos, a local favorite serving a traditional recipe made with Xocolatl chocolate and guajillo chili.

· SweetEasy’s delicious little number is inspired by the combination of holiday favorite flavors of peppermint and chocolate. Made with chunks of dark chocolate and peppermint syrup, this steaming cocoa mug features both marshmallows and crushed peppermint.

Chocolate addicts won’t want to miss the Hot chocolate with liquid brownie at Muddy Waters Cafe. Steamed milk mixed with dark chocolate sauce, caramel and hazelnut syrups, this drink is a dressy version for parties of the store’s most popular mocha, which has been on the menu for 20 years.

Stop by the local Ghost Harbor Brewing Co. for its Coffee stout mocha coppola. Made in collaboration with Muddy Waters Coffeehouse, the seasonal brew combines the flavors of beer, coffee and chocolate for a unique flavor perfect for the holidays.

· The 2 Souls wine bar will feature an elegant red wine mulled chocolate made with hot cocoa and a Murray Wines red blend topped with smooth whipped cream and a light dusting of cocoa powder.

· At Montero’s Restaurant, a splash of vanilla vodka and a pinch of salt are added to create a sophisticated take on the classic mint hot chocolate.

The Page After Page bookstore will host Christmas-themed storytelling hours and free hot chocolate on Saturdays, or daily discounts on holiday books. At the Water’s Edge boutique, customers can enjoy hot chocolate, paint a festive door hanger, or attend tasting and painting events throughout the month of December.

Andrew LeClair, owner of Paradiso Roma Ristorante, explained that their cocoa recipe is a collaboration with Talia Krites, former owner of The Flour Girls Cafe & Bakery. Their drink includes his famous hot cocoa bombs.

“These chocolate bombs are dropped in hot milk and dissolve at the table,” LeClair said. “We thought it would be fun for the customers, and it’s part of our business model to incorporate locally sourced products whenever and wherever possible. ”

For more information on the trail, visit


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